Mayor of Chinese port city Ningbo probed for corruption

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Chinese authorities have begun a graft probe into the mayor of the major eastern Chinese port city of Ningbo, the ruling Communist Party announced on Wednesday (March 16), the latest senior official caught up in a sweeping corruption crackdown.

Lu Ziyue was being investigated for "suspected serious disciplinary violations", a euphemism for corruption, the ruling Communist Party's graft-busting Central Commision for Discipline Inspection said in a brief statement.

Lu, who spent his career in Zhejiang province south of Shanghai, was deputy secretary of the party's Ningbo branch in addition to being mayor. He turns 54 this month.

The commission gave no further details about Lu's suspected violations. It was not possible to reach him for comment and unclear if he has retained a lawyer.

Ningbo and neighbouring Zhoushan are home to the world's sixth biggest container port, according to 2013 data on the website of the World Shipping Council.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that rampant corruption threatens the survival of the Communist Party and his anti-corruption campaign has brought down scores of top officials in the party, the government, the military and state-owned companies.